Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging citizens not to panic after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized two regions in his nation controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.
“We are committed to the peaceful and diplomatic path, we will follow it and only it,” Zelensky said in a speech on Monday night.
“But we are on our own land, we are not afraid of anything and anybody, we owe nothing to no one, and we will give nothing to no one,” he added.
Putin on Monday formally recognized the two breakaway regions in Ukraine as independent and indicated he would send troops to the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic
Russia says the troops would be sent to “keep the peace,” Reuters reported.
Zelensky also said in his remarks late Monday that Russia had destroyed peace talks and vowed to not give up land in Ukraine. He added that he is considering cutting all diplomatic ties to Russia over their actions.
“I’ve received a request from the foreign ministry. I will consider the issue of severing diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Immediately after our press conference, I will consider this issue,” Zelensky said, according to Reuters.
He also urged Western countries in his speech to implement sanctions against Russia in response to the latest developments.
“We expect clear and effective steps of support from our partners,” Zelensky said. “It is very important to see who is our real friend and partner, and who will continue to scare the Russian Federation with words.”